Santuário Dom Bosco, Brasília, Brazil

Featured Image Source: Emanuel.artiaga, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Santuário_Dom_Bosco_Brasília.jpg

The Santuário Dom Bosco is best known for it bright blue lit interior. The Santuário Dom Bosco was built in 1963 in the city of Brasília, Brazil. The church stands in the south wing of the city Brasília.

The building was designed by Carlos Alberto Naves a Brazilian architect who design buildings mainly in a modern style. The Santuário Dom Bosco is the most well know buildings that he designed.

The church is named after the Italian saint John Bosco a 19th century Roman Catholic priest. During his lifetime he predicted that a new capital would arise between the 15th and 20th parallels. This new utopian city would be located in a just nation in the new world. The Santuário Dom Bosco was thusly built in the 15th parallel in Brazils new capital Brasília.

The building like all good modernist buildings is a white box. Cut into this white box are large pointed arch windows that go almost from top to bottom. If one looks more closely at the buildings make up you can see how each of the four walls work more like individual panels rather than just sides of one contiguous box. This effect is created because at each corner a gap is left between each panel. Furthermore, the roof does not sit on these panels but rather beside them.

Plan
Source: Third World Architecture, Under Creative Commons

In the gap between where two panels meet a large floor to roof rectangular window is placed. The church has three main entrances, one on each side except on the side of the altar where Jesus being crucified is being displayed.

The pointed arch windows are filled with blue stained glass which lights up the interior in a deep colour. The four rectangular windows are not blue but a brilliant purple colour. The stained glass was designed by Claudio Naves and created by Hubert van Doorne, a Belgian artist who worked in Sao Paulo. The windows create a starry night effect within the building. Some of the glass panels swivel to allow fresh air into the building.

The roof is split into 4 areas that create a relief. The four sides meet in the centre where a large chandelier is hung up. This pattern creates a large complex cross on the roof. The roof shows concrete at its best. It is both brutalist but also subtle. The windows and the roof join perfectly creating one clear line through the whole building. The floor is covered in marble that accentuates the blue windows creating a sky floor.

1200px-Santuário_Dom_Bosco_Brasília_panoramic_inner_view
Source: Eric Gaba, Under Creative Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Santuário_Dom_Bosco_Brasília_panoramic_inner_view.jpg

The building is one of the most important churches in Brazil and is an architectural masterpiece. Creating a building that has layers, creating a place that forces a viewer to experience it at each step one takes.


Source: Wikipedia (John Bosco)Wikipedia (Santuario Dom Bosco)ArchiTravelArchive.orgSacred DestinationsWorld Architecture Map

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